The best prop bets for the 2021 Northern Trust
We now know the top 125 golfers on planet earth after the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship, so it’s time to head to New York for the first event in the FedEx Cup Series, the Northern Trust.
This year’s venue is the Liberty National in New Jersey. A stunning course overlooked by the New York skyline and one that is, by exact definition, a rich person’s playground! It cost a rumoured $250 million to build and includes an on-site heliport, a yacht service, a spa, and a fancy restaurant. Justin Timberlake, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mark Wahlberg are all members here, but none of them make the props list this week.
Despite the tournament moving venues each year, it remains one for the very best in the game. In the last eight renewals, seven of them have been won by a player in the world’s top 25, and to succeed here you’re going to have to have an excellent tee-to-green game. The greens at Liberty National are smaller than average, so greens in regulation and scrambling will be key pointers.
This course has hosted this event three times before in 2009, 2013 and 2019, and was built on a former toxic landfill site – hopefully that snippet of course form will ensure these props aren’t too hazardous for our health.
The Northern Trust 2021
Sun, August 22 2021, 8:00 PM
Matchbet: Jordan Spieth to beat Bryson DeChambeau (-129)
Jordan Spieth has flashed signs of getting back to his best in recent weeks, and I’d much rather be siding with him than former winner of the Northern Trust, Bryson DeChambeau, this week. "Bryson the Bomber" was eighth on his last start in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, but before that he finished outside the top 30 in the Open Championship and missed the cut in the Rocket Mortgage Classic. In five of his last eight tournaments, he has been outside the top 25.
Spieth, on the other hand, has been in the top 20 in nine of his last tournaments – with six of them being top 10s. He was runner-up in the Open Championship on his penultimate start and then finished 12th in the WGC St. Jude. That result could’ve been even better had he not gotten off to a sluggish start – sitting 52nd at half-way – but had a great weekend to climb up the leaderboard.
In 2019, when this tournament was played here, Spieth was in poor form but still managed to finish sixth, despite a 74 in the third round. That’s enough to suggest this course suits him, and given his good recent form, he should be able to beat an out-of-sorts DeChambeau.
Top American Player (1-5): Daniel Berger (+450)
Berger ticks plenty of boxes for this event, so I’m happy to take a chance on him being one of the top five American players. The World No. 16 ranks in the top 20 this season for shots gained tee to green and that bodes well for Liberty National.
While he didn’t play this event here in 2019, he does have some course form having been the man to clinch the President’s Cup here in 2017. He went three-up on Si-Woo Kim, and secured victory on the 17th hole. He has won two of his three matches since then.
It’s his recent form that appeals most, though. In his last four tournaments, he’s finished seventh in the U.S. Open, eighth in the Open Championship, and fifth in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. That’s really strong and consistent form, and if he brings that into New Jersey he can certainly do well.
Top American Player (1-5): Dustin Johnson (+300)
In the same market it would make sense to back three-time winner of this event Dustin Johnson. D.J. had a rough start to 2021, but he’s never far from putting on an exceptional display. If anything, coming into this event under the radar is arguably a plus.
He won this event in 2011 and 2017, but saved his best performance for 2020 as he shot a record-breaking 30-under-par to win by 11 strokes at TPC Boston. Liberty National seems to play to his strengths as he led around here after two rounds in 2019 before a difficult weekend saw him drop to 24th.
Johnson has three top 10 finishes in his last six tournaments and ranks 17th on tour for shots gained tee to green, so if he can keep that level up he can threaten the top of the leaderboard again.
Top 20 Finish: Webb Simpson (+138)
Finally, we get to Webb Simpson, who needs to perform to try to get onto the Ryder Cup team. He is 0-3 in Ryder Cups and has spoken of his desire to experience that winning feeling, so there is plenty of motivation for him here in New Jersey.
There’s plenty to suggest Simpson should do well. After a couple of missed cuts a few months ago, Simpson has bounced back, finishing 19th in the Open Championship, 15th in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and then seventh last week in the Wyndham Championship. In the Wyndham he ranked third in the event for shots gained tee to green, and first for shots gained approaching the green, so his irons are certainly dialled in.
He’s also played the course three times and finished in the top 20 in each of those events, so it’s clearly a place that suits the World No. 19.